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Campaign to get graduates to work abroad launched by government

John Freeman
Working in local government? Worried your job is at risk thanks to ConDem cuts in public spending?

Well, there's good news - rather than spend money on creating or maintaining jobs for people in work here, instead, the Government is spending money encouraging you to go and be a civil servant in Europe!

No, really. Just as Lancashire County Council (among others) announced its proposals for swingeing public service job cuts (see news story), the ConDem government is funding a campaign to boost employment in another country.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office launches its EU Careers Month today, as part of its campaign to encourage the UK's graduates to apply for jobs in the EU Civil Service - in partnership with the Daily Telegraph.

The EU Civil Service consists of citizens from the EU member states working across all the institutions such as the European Parliament, the Commission and the Court of Justice.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office says the campaign will include a raft of online information to raise awareness about what working in the EU involves and how to get through the selection process, with ready access to blogs, videos and case studies of British staff working in Brussels.

They'll also learn why some graduates have decided to leave their jobs in the UK to embark on a career in the EU Civil Service. The campaign aims to highlight the excellent job opportunities available for Britain's brightest graduates with French or German language skills.

"I'm backing this campaign for UK graduates to look at the EU's Civil Service as a career destination," says the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, William Hague. "It could give you the chance to help the countries of Europe shape the European Union's future direction. If you're concerned about big policy issues, want to learn about international negotiations or fascinated by European cultures and languages, you may find the job you're looking for with the EU."

"This campaign aims to increase the number of UK graduates applying for the next round of the EU Civil Service's recruitment competition, added Minister for Europe David Lidington. "The UK only makes up 6% of the EU's workforce despite representing 12% of the EU's population. In last year's recruitment competition - the assessment taken by graduates to secure a job in one of the EU institutions - the UK produced the lowest number of applicants of all EU member states. I'd encourage anyone who is interested in an EU career to visit the online campaign at:"

A recent Foreign and Commonwealth Office survey of 2,200 university students showed that undergraduates at UK universities don't know enough about the employment opportunities within the EU civil service. It showed that although just over half of the respondents wanted to work for an international organisation, 81% of them had never heard of the EU recruitment competition or official assessment process.

Having British people in the EU civil service helps facilitate understanding of UK culture when the legislative proposals are drafted.

So there you go then. No jobs here in public service, but Brussels? What are you waiting for?

• For further information on EU Careers Month see